Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2017

Drowned in Sound's Favorite Albums of 2017

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100. Arcade Fire - Everything Now

July 28, 2017
Critic Score
66
37 reviews
Gravitas was always the band’s defining characteristic, and without that some songs are in danger of flying away (‘Peter Pan’, ‘Good God Damn’) no matter how interesting the sounds that underpin them.

99. Blanck Mass - World Eater

March 3, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
Above anything else, it is probably this fragmented, disorientating rush from one thing to the next which reflects our times most accurately of all.

98. Future Islands - The Far Field

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
75
30 reviews

Apart from the new wave prom dance of 'Candles', The Far Field plays out like a treadmill – same tempos, same whining siren wails from the synths, same bass undulation.

97. Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley

July 7, 2017
Critic Score
72
15 reviews

Every Valley is certainly an important and timely record, but happily it's also an extremely satisfying and moving one.

96. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

Produced differently, A Deeper Understanding could be really startling stuff; as it is, it feels like The War on Drugs have made an agreeable, fan-pleasing album to escape into and hide in, not to a record to take on the world.

95. Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
84
6 reviews

94. Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching for Indigo

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

Reaching For Indigo, indeed, is awe personified.

93. Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
73
23 reviews

The band remain an excellent and vital act, still producing worthy music which is head and shoulders over many similar, lesser acts, the problem, it seems, is that their evolution is a slow one.

92. The Afghan Whigs - In Spades

May 5, 2017
Critic Score
77
18 reviews

This is the best thing Dulli has put his name to since Blackberry Belle.

91. Lapalux - Ruinism

June 30, 2017
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

As a whole, Ruinism is a fine, pleasant sounding record with plenty of little tidbits to enjoy spread across an album full of them. The main issue is that it is a bit "neither here nor there" in places which mean stretches of it are rather forgettable after the running time has evaporated.

90. Sampha - Process

February 3, 2017
Critic Score
83
31 reviews

There is no doubt listening to Process that Sampha is dealing with a lot. But he is far from defeated – on the contrary, this record appears to be an invaluable opportunity for him to heal.

89. This Is The Kit - Moonshine Freeze

July 7, 2017
Critic Score
76
18 reviews

After three previous albums, Moonshine Freeze is finally the sound of a storyteller of a musician finding her niche. And it is a joy to behold.

87. King Krule - The OOZ

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

The OOZ creates a brutalist and beautiful terrain, one that we can wander vicariously through King Krule; it’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

86. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
80
29 reviews

Lotta Sea Lice won’t totally slake the thirst of the pair’s individual fanbases for new solo work, but what it does do is see them bring out the best in each other. It’s a powerful testament to the possibilities offered up by a genuine creative friendship.

85. Laurel Halo - Dust

June 23, 2017
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
It’s not the sound of an artist finding her true voice. That would be too much of a cliché to apply to this delightful album. It is, however, Laurel Halo’s most ecstatically esoteric effort to date, which, in the case of this artist at least, is another way of saying that is both her best and her most joyously listenable.

84. Depeche Mode - Spirit

March 17, 2017
Critic Score
69
20 reviews

83. Ryan Adams - Prisoner

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

It’s been a while, though, since he served up a real, sit-up-and-listen statement. Here it is. Prisoner isn’t a heartbreak record - it’s potentially the heartbreak record, for my generation at least. 

82. Fever Ray - Plunge

October 27, 2017
Critic Score
82
19 reviews
Plunge builds on Fever Ray's - to borrow a graphic novel phrase - 'universe building' self-titled debut to create her most direct and personal record to date. On top of this, Dreijer has cemented her place within alternative music's dynasty, and it's refreshing to hear an outwardly queer and fiercely political artist convey a clear message without having the music, performance or reception fall over the potential weight of those themes.

79. Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

February 24, 2017
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

78. Destroyer - ken

October 20, 2017
Critic Score
76
24 reviews

ken’s a grower. It’s not going to immediately colonise one’s affections in the way the best Destroyer records do, but it will slowly get there, even if some will immediately dismiss it as a supposedly 'weak entry' in the Destroyer catalogue.

77. The Shins - Heartworms

March 10, 2017
Critic Score
68
29 reviews

Throughout Heartworms, Mercer and company prove that their sparse output is well worth the wait. The totality of the record is enough to engulf listeners in myriad textures accomplished via sound and vision.

75. Big Thief - Capacity

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

If we’re being honest, Capacity is simply a better record than Masterpiece. No contest. The catchy songs are catchier; the melodies are tighter; the peaks and troughs dip higher and lower.

74. Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

Stellular is very much the fulfillment of Dougall’s potential as a songwriter.

73. Molly Burch - Please Be Mine

February 17, 2017
Critic Score
67
7 reviews

Its conceptual limits are conspicuously narrow. Ten love songs about succumbing to men, ten wistful scenes set in old prom slow dances and reconstructed Nashville studios.

72. Max Richter - Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works

January 27, 2017
Critic Score
79
6 reviews

To his credit, Max Richter has crafted something that feels like a timeless nod to the past, and yet an inventive ode to Woolf’s modernism. He has followed up the exceptional Sleep with yet another dazzling work that is “full of echoes, of memories, of associations” that celebrate and reflect this towering writer.

71. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

April 7, 2017
Critic Score
81
36 reviews

Despite its multitude of sideways glances, Pure Comedy isn’t a contemptuous sneer, rather an attempt to dust oneself off and seek control of a ship that’s destined to sink no matter what.

70. Wiley - Godfather

January 13, 2017
Critic Score
79
9 reviews

69. Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life

July 21, 2017
Critic Score
75
31 reviews

Lust for Life represents the thawing of the ice queen we thought we knew, and the strange death of her American dream. The warmth and humility revealed beneath are all the more thrilling for how well they were kept under lock and key. Human after all.

68. Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

There are parts of Love What Survives that you’ll want to dive straight back into again ... and then others that are a little more ephemeral. One thing that is true throughout though: Mount Kimbie continue to broaden their scope and push the bounds of we can expect from them as a band.

67. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions

May 19, 2017
Critic Score
84
9 reviews

It really is a rarity to find artists this far into their career, and after such a sustained break, sound so fresh and positive.

65. The National - Sleep Well Beast

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
82
35 reviews
The things that make this band a real treasure can all still be found here –the slightly beat-up romanticism, the pessimism of the secret optimist, the big, bold beauty of the melodies, the detailed imperfect perfection of the music. There’s still so much here worth hanging on for.

64. Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

November 17, 2017
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

Her breathy, ethereal vocal is charged with grief and longing, while the ballsy electro-pop accompaniment drives confidently forward, moulding to her voice.

63. Ghostpoet - Dark Days + Canapés

August 18, 2017
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

Ghostpoet’s vocals are delivered in a consistent, mumbled, emotionally-drained understatement throughout, lending the album a sense of authenticity that it could not survive without.

62. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet

July 14, 2017
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
This album is anything but a fad. It hangs around long after you listen, subdued but resolute in its capabilities. It is very much here to stay.

61. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

If The Epic was a very large and rich meal then Harmony of Difference is a palate-cleansing sorbet or digestif. On the surface there is nothing unyielding or dense about it and everything flows together wonderfully, but once you start to scratch the surface you discover an EP that is full of hidden melodies and motifs and has enough to charm to make up for its brevity.

60. Liars - TFCF

August 25, 2017
Critic Score
74
19 reviews

There is a scatterbrain feel to this record which means rarely does a song scratch the 4-minute surface, making this a relatively light 33 minutes, however, there is something very exciting in hearing Andrew jump about from point to point in such quick succession without losing his overall focus for the record.

59. Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

Though Hiss Spun probably won't end up as the best of her career, it may well be Wolfe's best so far.

58. Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

July 7, 2017
Critic Score
76
30 reviews

All-in-all, BSS have made an album that trumps any cynicism that they may have faced, and in the process Hug of Thunder is as hearteningly unguarded and positive a record as you are likely to hear this year. 

57. Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps

September 22, 2017
Critic Score
81
15 reviews
The record is a stunning achievement, and one that heralds the arrival of a major talent, undoubtedly in it for the long haul. Even more importantly, it feels special in an intangible way that I’m at something of a loss to explain.

56. Juanita Stein - America

Juanita Stein - America
July 28, 2017
Critic Score
68
4 reviews

55. Alvvays - Antisocialites

September 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
26 reviews
Almost everything about the album is just slightly off the mark, as if it’s accidentally been released too early.

54. Bicep - Bicep

September 1, 2017
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

The album is a perfect portfolio of everything Bicep do best. They’re able to induce euphoria, keep you dancing for hours, give you room to breathe, and then accompany you into a dream-filled sleep.

53. Beck - Colors

October 13, 2017
Critic Score
67
33 reviews

Whether Colors will be a success within the pop world it is clearly aimed at remains to be seen, but one suspects even pop fans will see through this for it appears to be: an album documenting a mid-life crisis.

51. Four Tet - New Energy

September 29, 2017
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4151506-drowned-in-sounds-favourite-albums-of-2017
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